This is the most enjoyable book I have read in a long time. I fully intend to read more books by this author and I would recommend her books to everyone.
There are some books that arrive in your hands at exactly the right time; The Ticket by Heather Grace Stewart is one of those books. When my copy arrived last week, I was in need of a warm, feel-good read with a touch of romance and my needs were amply met by this story.
Lawyer, Allie James, and news anchorman, Pete McCarney meet when he is looking for someone to share an amazing holiday with him after he has been let down badly by his girlfriend, also named Allie James. He has already interviewed more than twenty women of the same name,when he meets Lawyer Allie and decides that she is the one to share the trip.
Both Allie and Pete set out on their adventure with a certain amount of trepidation. Their whirlwind journey is full of excitement, highs and lows and more than a touch of romance.
I have deliberately not said much about the plot, as I would not want to spoil the book for anyone. However, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed “The Ticket”. The characters came to life and I loved following the development of their relationship. I liked the way the author looked at the situation from both points of view; for me, the “dual narrator” added to the humour and depth of the story.
Thank you, Heather Grace Stewart, for writing a book which is fun and engaging – just the right thing for a bleak winter’s day – or a day in the middle of summer, for that matter.
Pete‘s Goodreads Review (****SOME SPOILERS**** )
The story follows two very different people, Allie James and Pete McCarney and their coming together following the breakdowns of their individual relationships. Allie is a strong, independent woman lawyer who is still recovering from her divorce from her cheating husband, and is sent on a five week, forced vacation from her law firm. Pete is a successful TV news anchor who had booked a three week, six city tour across the world, only for his girlfriend, also called Allie James to dump him before they travelled.
Not wanting to travel alone, Pete decides to advertise for a travelling companion with the name Allie James and, well you can guess the rest and if you can’t, read the book.
It is clear Allie’s divorce is still a big issue for her and she still holds a huge grudge against her ex and his new partner, which has made her distrustful of men in general. She’s a hardworking woman, but who continually seems to have things happen to her.
Pete on the other hand, has everything; successful career, looks, charm and wit, but the only thing he’s missing is a one true love. It seems an unlikely match with his smooth Gaelic quotes and her foul mouth. Could he really fall in love with someone he’s just met? Even more so with a girl bearing the same name as the one who broke his heart?
What is unique about this book, and I’m seeing it a lot more in books, is that it is written from both protagonists viewpoints. At the start, it just focuses on Allie, but once Pete comes on the scene, the author writes from his perspective too. I know from experience that this is very difficult to do if the viewpoints are from opposite genders. But the author does this very well and the continuity of the story is well balanced and flows exceptionally well.
Obviously, I won’t spoil the book, but there is some sexual content. Usually I cringe when I read stuff like that. Not because I’m prudish or I grew up in Victorian England, but because of the way it is usually written. But in this instance, it is written in a tasteful manner and again, written very well. It is not crude or explicit, but rather leaves some to the readers imagination which, in my opinion is the best way to write scenes like that.
The story is really easy to follow. I am a very slow reader and when I’m reading a book, I always have to have a quick glance over what happened previously so I can continue reading. But this book was very simple to follow; I’d read the last line and remembered instantly what had happened and where I was up to. It’s nothing like these complicated books that take three pages to describe a room and still nothing happens; The Ticket is a page turner and, even though you have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen, it’s how they get got there that keeps the interest going and the pages turning.
Something else that was impressive was the amount of research that will have gone into it. Unless the author has actually been to every place mentioned (and let’s be honest, who would admit to willingly going to Coventry?) she has definitely done some excellent research. Talking of Coventry, it’s nice for once to see an author writing about a different city in England. Almost every book I read from non-British writers who are writing about England, they always inevitably focus on London, like this is the only City we have. This book this use London as a destination, however it’s acceptable in the context of the book.
One part of the book I very much enjoyed was the moment in Prague where it all made sense to Allie and she realised exactly what she wanted. It’s something that a lot of people can relate to, but it takes 14,000 feet in the air with the ground getting ever closer for her to realise it!
I would give this book 9/10. It was very enjoyable and demands a sequel!